Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mar 12: One Smile at a Time

Hej san!
Well it has been another three months since i've been in Sweden. Three months in Uppsala and now 3 months in Jönköping and now its time to move! I'm off to Allingsås! A much smaller town but still a pretty solid ward. I was there just last week on exchanges and I'll be with Syster Sprague again!! I'm very excited. 
But before I get all excited about the future.. Let me tell you about my last week in Jönköping.
One of my favorite times of the week is on Monday. On Mondays we go to hemafton (family home evening) with the Young Single adults. There are usually about 6 or so people. I love these people! There is something about missionary work. You just cant help but love these people you are serving. You worry about them, you pray about them, you listen to them, you just give them all that you can.  I am going to be sad to leave them.  A few weeks ago Syster Juker and I were in charge of the activity and we taught them "Extreme Spoons" :)  It was awesome.  One of our assignments with this new year is to strengthen the Youth.  We have been told that it will be through the youth that the second harvest will come to Sweden. We have some really amazing youth here.
I wish I could just introduce you to all of them. So! We will just have to come back :)  I have quite a few adopted families that are willing to house me and whatever family I bring back with me. So! Jönköping is on the list.

Another person I am going to miss here is Sabrina. She officially is a believer :)  I was talking to her on the phone yesterday and she talked about how she has so much hope for the future. She has made the biggest and fastest 180 i've seen.  She asked a hypothetical question "what if it's not true?".. then I thought about how she has changed since we have met her.  Well she is certainly happier right now.. nicer, has a hope and purpose for life.  I feel like I am receiving evidence and proof for these questions I had in Uppsala when I met that missionary who no longer believes in God.  I had a moment of wondering.. does this gospel really make people happier?  I haven't really tried the other side yet.. so how do I know?  Well! Here was my answer.  She still has a way to go to understand the restoration of Christ's church here upon the earth.  But at least she has the main message about Christ. 
She also just learned about the ten commandments and the two overarching commandments that cover them all.  First love God. Second Love others. She said I feel like this is the most amazing way to live. It just makes so much sense. It is amazing.  We should just do all these things because we love God. We should go to Church because we love god!. YES! She has it!!
Syster Juker had to get her visa renewed and we had to go take a two hour train ride to Göteborg to do it.  I tend to like to sit in the middle of a car where they have three chairs with a table in the middle and another three chairs on the other side so I can have a better chance of talking to someone. But no one sat by me on the first train ride :(  So I studied my scriptures.  On the second train it was full and I sat next to this middle aged man on his phone.  It was a beautiful day outside with the sun out in full shine. I pulled out my Swedish Book of Mormon to read to pass the time. As the man finished his phone conversation he turned to me and said "Hur fint det är, eller hur?" (How nice it is outside, right?).  My jaw almost dropped.. Did this Swedish man just talk to me.. first!! But I quickly collected myself and replied "JA! det är fint" (Yes it is nice out). He then looked down at my Book of Mormon and asked me what book it was. Well! I could walk you through the whole hour conversation.. But I'll just tell you the highlights. Half way through the trip I offered him my book. I told I carry a free copy with me and said I would love to give it to him. He graciously accepted it and said he would read it!  YAY! That wasn't so hard.  I gave him a few of my favorite sections and gave him my card and told him he could call if he wanted to learn more.  He lives out in the middle of no where.. so unfortunately there are no missionaries or church near by.. But it is a start. Robert was an answer to my prayers.
Syster Juker was sick for a big chunk of the week. We got home from Göteborg and she passed out. She slept for the next two days.  So that was a challenge to figure out how to keep myself busy and still productive. But! There wasn't a dull moment. It is amazing how you can choose to fill your 24 hours of a day. You can definitely do a whole lot of nothing. Or you can get alot accomplished.  I have definitely learned once again the importance of planning and making goals. There is a quote in "Preach My Gospel" that says
“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
     By Elder Ballard.
I feel like this is Dad's motto too and I have decided to join the club.  We finished our last teach with the Thörn family. They are a strong member family. Both parents became members in their late teens with three daughters. We have done a member missionary program with them. We helped them go through chapter three of Preach My Gospel and helped them learn how to teach simply so that they could feel more confident in sharing the message of the gospel to their friends.  We gave them the challenge to make some goals as a family about missionary work. When we make these goals that not only makes it more likely for us to accomplish them but it also lets the Lord know what you want, that you are serious about doing it and he is more likely to help you accomplish it. SO I am excited to see some miracles happen with this family.  
So I tried my best to take care of sicky Syster juker.  She is doing much better but I am afraid I have caught her disease. I tried to be a good nurse and wash my hands alot.. but I guess when you live with them its hard to keep yourself from the germs. But Ill be back up and running in no time.
We had another amazing miracle happen this week. We met with our two newer Chinese members Wilson and Li.  Next week the young single adults are going to the Stockholm temple and we wanted them to go with.  Wilson has been a member for two years now and Li almost for one. There is a small challenge with our Chinese members. They don't speak Swedish and they study a lot.  So it has been hard to help them stay strong and active. Li also hadn't gotten the priesthood yet due to his inactivity.  But! We have done a lot of work with them and something has changed. They really have grown so much in their testimonies of Christ and his love for them. I feel like their simple and yet so pure testimonies are so strong! I wish the whole ward could be with us when we taught them.  I am strengthened listening to them.  Well we asked Wilson if he wanted to go to the temple. He was nervous.. a little scared. But He WANTS TO GO! You could almost tangibly feel his desire through his eyes. But he didn't want to go without his friend Li. Well this means he needs to receive the priesthood. Now just so you know. The missionaries have been trying to get Li to receive the priesthood the whole year!  Yet. This Sunday Li and Wilson came to church at 1030. Interviewed with the bishop. Li received the priesthood!!! and they will be going next week.  I am sad I don't get to go with them.. But as long as they both get to go.. its ok. ! I am so excited for them!
To end this wonderful week I wanted to share a little cultural fact. We went out to eat breakfast this morning with a woman from the ward.  At the restaurant/cafe they served this for breakfast:  Freshly baked bread and rolls, some cold meats, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, butter, jam and porridge. I was rather surprised. I felt like I was at a hotel having one of the continental lunches or breakfasts. :)  No pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc...  I love Sweden! :)
I love you all. Most of all I love the Lord. And I'm trying to love everyone else. Life really is all about love. And when we live after that ... life is just all the more meaningful.  So go make some one smile! Make a new friend. LOVE!
One thing I remembered saying to myself the first few weeks on my mission was "I'm saving the world, one smile at a time".  Every time I made someone smile.. i would do a little fist pump and whisper "I just made their day!"
One smile at a time.
 Love Syster Schneiber
1. sabrina!
2. the church
3. Johannes (my favorite less active!)
and the Thörn family!

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